The whole forest must
know that I’ve
It smells of rich,
the feast of a thousand roots
in a forest after rain:
the hunger of an earth
now sipping at autumnal leaves:
new ground and bending reeds:
stubborn foliage still
though the sun is showering now.
Fall leaves on the crowns
of trees glow golden,
I pause to
read what you’ve sent me,
and my breath clouds—
but November’s creeping up.
I think I feel your
forest spirit beside me.
(a dog barks)
In the middle of the city,
this petrichor forest
is like a novel,
to get lost in even
in the middle of a busy house
or time set aside for homework.
My shoes shuffle on boardwalks
and disturb sodden leaves;
your spirit is harmonious,
even with the ref’s whistle
sounding from the sports’ field out of view,
even with the gossamer strands
of spiders’ web
strung between the thorns.
The whole forest must
know of your
The morning air smells sharp and cold.
I push aside my sheet of leaves
and cedar boughs to feel the breath
of dawn upon my waking flesh.
I dress in robes of autumn soil
and so pad softly out the door,
my footsteps teasing coffee earth
to gently loose its heavy dew.
My rattling lungs inhale its scent.
I wash my eyes in singing drops
of mountain’s tears and dry
the crystals from my cheeks upon
an ancient cloth of velvet moss.
The forest choir expands the world
around my senses, heralding
the openness of day, the wide
and trackless hours of newborn time.
Your hand slips into mine: the rasp
of palm on palm, the warmth of skin
on skin, the trembling of my veins,
the tremors of your energy,
the pull—the pull—the pounding of
our feet, the sharpness of our breath,
the wildness of our path: and so,
a forest flown; and so, a dream
rejoiced; and so, a day fulfilled.
I glimpsed you in the forest, dancing in
the silver shafts of moonlight falling through
the leaves like liquid; in the river, too,
I saw you splash among the jagged stones
and play beneath the water’s raging foam;
I watched you laughing in the streets, where lights
and darkness weave their jumbled patterns and
the sidewalk cracks are filled with life; and on
the rooftops, singing out a song of wild
abandon, I espied you from afar,
your wingtips glowing in the endless stars.
(Please take me where you are!)
Upon the emptiness between the black
and white primeval lines, I glimpsed your eyes,
and through their gaze I found new colour in
the pages; in the nighttime, too, where eyes
have disappeared, I saw your light and heard
you whisper in the movement of my blinds;
between the tickings of my clock, I watched
you confidently soar beyond our time,
your autumn sandals etching maps into
the unknown planes; and in the faces of
the people that I met I spied the care
you give to everything, and felt you there.
(I see you everywhere.)
It is the end of an era. Hundreds of pages, dozens of characters, thousands of hours later, The Hunger Games of Scotland have finished. Click here to read about Avory Jackson, who refused to follow the rules and paid the ultimate price; Coraline Findlay, who led a rebellion to free the tributes from the arena of the second annual Games; Rose Becket, who escaped from the arena during the first annual Games only to be captured and subjected a second time; and many more varied and riveting characters.
A paper cup, crushed, liquid strewn upon
the cigarette butt dumping ground; a boy,
his pants around his knees revealing miles
of yellow patterned boxer shorts; a man,
with spurs upon his boots; a woman wild
upon the sidewalk, dancing, unabashed
or mentally deranged (I’m leaning towards
the latter); close across the street, a hobo sticks
his arms into a garbage bin (beside
me in the coffeeshop, a woman, fat
repulsing from beneath her purple track-
suit laughs and points); a single Starbucks cup
displayed upon a garbage bin, a proud
white crown; an officer, with cuffs
displayed upon his belt, approaches a
suspicious-looking truck then walks away,
a grin across his face; a limping girl,
with mincing steps, is eaten by the crowd
within the bus, arriving often on
the corner; hooded strangers wearing sweats;
a massive suitcase lugged along behind
a tiny girl; a woman I mistook
as male until she muttered in my ear,
then turned and left across the busy street;
another bus; a beggar with his cap
held out before his groin (take care); a man,
a napkin held beneath his chin to catch
the crumbs from dinner on the run; a tree,
tall, beautiful as if it stood within
the arms of wilder forests, leaves still kissed
on branches, waiting for the deeper fall
to pull them free; a paper cup, upon
a sidewalk in Vancouver, at night.
I heard it in the desert, in the war torn oil soaked blood diamond sand
that nobody owns, not really, but everybody owns, that
nobody owns up to. I heard it through the explosions of missiles made in the land of the free and
through the threats of missiles fired by the empirical head of
democracy in the Western World.
I heard it above the siren screams of civilians waking up to
nightmares, above the innocent screams of sirens rushing too late to
shells of homes, above screaming shells
discarded by screaming pilots in screaming planes.
I heard it, too, in the sand, beneath the foreign feet of
strange men far from their families,
below the trembling knees of praying prisoners in segregated neighbourhoods
and on video in jumpsuits that burn hotter than the sun,
beneath the crust of the dry Maccabean earth soaked through with blood and tears and piss
released on the point of death.
I heard that the mountain was rising.
I heard the creaking of old principality necks as they turned,
dust and ancient flesh flaking onto the shoulders of nations,
and I heard the roar of new water race
against time and the lazy rules of Man,
up up upwards it rushed and I heard it strike the backs of the institutions,
who I heard vomit,
and then their feet were ripped from the roots they had planted in concrete and slavery and
they were rushed to the foot of the mountain, the root
of the earth.
I heard the earth erupt, and I heard the mountain’s crown
pierce the sky in a thunderclap that rebuked continents.
I heard panic in the waters streaming up the sides of the mountain,
peoples from all nations calling for wisdom, and they
were told to form rafts out of their rifles.
I heard them tell their neighbours to form paddles from their pistols,
and I heard the soft wisdom of their movement calm the turgid storms,
and when they touched their curious fingers to the stone above the clouds
I heard laughter, and
I heard them turn their rafts and begin to ply their paddles again,
I heard that the mountain was rising,
but when I opened my eyes I saw just rolling hills of bone dry sand,
and the only moving thing was a pig sweating platoon of soldiers marching
hup hup hover the hills and
hup hup down the hills in the distance, as if
they were following the column of tar black smoke coiling
torpidly from remains of a town that once stood twenty miles away or less.
I saw the oily sun boil in a sky as grey as dusty, twisted metal,
and wondered if I what I had heard was actually just what I can see.
Another mortar explodes on the horizon, and
I watch the blast diminish to a curl of smoke. Someone cries out,
and a vehicle, a dot of flame a million miles away,
tears silently from the grasp of the smoke that looks
now like a finger and
ends its journey in a ditch, a candle in a scar in the sand.
Was that all that I had heard?